A proposed sports bar in an established Wichita neighborhood has some residents concerned, not only with the bar and its parking lot, but with procedures and transparency at Wichita City Hall.
Whether you agree with the development or not, the story as told in the Crown Heights newsletter raises concerns with the process. Specifically:
“The notification was for ancillary parking, not a zone change. It led residents to assume it was just for some additional parking.”
“The City wrote and approved a staff report approving this case on the day of or even before the Barrier’s property sale had been closed on. Why is this case being pushed through so quickly? (Have you ever known any type of bureaucracy to approve an item with such lightning speed?)”
“At the MAPC meeting — Mr. Morrie Sheets (member of the MAPC) said that the property owner at 121 North Glendale was excited about tearing down that building (115 North Glendale) because it has been a problem with crack heads and drugs.” The owner of the property at 121 North Glendale never made that statement to Mr. Sheets (and has signed a document to that effect). Mr. Sheets has recanted saying that he ever made that statement. However, in the city’s recording of the meeting that statement is on record.
“At the MAPC meeting it was amended that the bar could occupy no more than 4399 square feet. However in the Planning department letter of November 19th (five days later), they state the sports bar was approved in the meeting to occupy 5092 square feet (Who authorized that change?) The bar is slated to have an occupancy of 156 patrons at the 4399 sq. ft. The increase of up to 5092 sq. feet would increase the number of occupants exponentially.”
In conclusion, the newsletter says: “The whole project has been cloaked in deception, lightning speed approval and has not been made transparent to the public. This raises some suspicion that the developers did not think the residents would be happy with this type of business being placed in our neighborhood.”
This matter will be heard at the District Advisory Board meeting on December 3.
Coverage from the Wichita Eagle is here.